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Construction Project Management: Plan Your Search

How to search for and find information on construction project management

What is construction project management research?


Construction project management research combines aspects of business related research with the more technical and practical field of building. As such it draws on a wide variety of literature, from traditional books and articles through to corporate reports, technical manuals, and business news. 

The sample search below will allow us to show you how to construct a search from an assignment question. We'll then take this search and look for information on the Search for Information page (linked at the right of screen).

Sample assignment topic


Construction site with cranes

Free=Photos. n.d. [Construction site] [Stock Image]. Pixabay.

Write a Report on Key Trends, Challenges & Future Directions in the Global Construction Industry Containing: 

  1. An overview of the Global Construction Industry including key current statistics on the industry and the influence of the industry on the global economy. 

  1. An overview of the major national/regional construction markets around the world.

  1. Identification and brief overview of the major global contractors in the industry. 

  1. An analysis of the key current trends in the industry and the key issues & challenges currently facing the industry (globally and within Australia). 


Identify your key concepts


Before you begin searching, try to identify the main ideas (or keywords) in your assignment question and list them. You can then create searches to find some or all of these keywords within a single document.

Our sample assignment has 4 sub-questions and is quite complicated but this is one way of turning it into keywords: 

  • The construction industry is the most important aspect of the topic, so we'll make that keyword 1
  • Questions about the construction industry are then applied to various locations (global, regional, Australia etc) - we'll make those locations keyword 2.
  • We're then asked for different aspects of the topic (challenges, trends, market size) - even though these are all very different we'll group them together as keyword 3.
Keyword 1 Keyword 2 Keyword 3

Construction Industry


challenges etc.

If you can find all 3 keywords in a document, great! But if you can't, just concentrate on combining keywords 1 and 2 in one search, and 1 and 3 in another: 

Global construction industry (keywords 1 & 2)
Construction industry market size (keywords 1 & 3) 

Brainstorm keywords & synonyms


Once you have your main keywords you can use them to map out some similar or related terms to incorporate into your search. Wikipedia is great for brainstorming, but you can also try: 

Construction Industry Global Trends


North America

Future directions
Market Size

Construction industry is keyword 1. We've added just construction to this, in case the word industry doesn't always match.

Location is keyword 2. We won't use the word location in our search. Instead, we'll specify one: global, Asia, Australia, etc.  

Challenges and trends is keyword 3, which bundles together all the other aspects of the assignment question. We’ve added the keyword report here because reports tend to contain the information we need for this assignment.

Remember, you don’t need to find something from all three columns in every search.

Build your search


Often it's best to start with a simple search. For our topic that would be global construction industry or maybe construction industry report. 

If you are looking in a company and industry database such as Marketline or IbisWorld, the term construction industry or even just construction will often get good results. 

If you don't find much, try using Boolean Operators. Boolean Operators can be used to search for many similar or related terms at once. The idea behind this is to find more material, and also to save you time in having to run many different searches. 

Boolean searches for our topic


Use OR to add similar and related terms into your search.  

  • If you have keywords that are two words or longer enclose them in double quotes: 
  • Use parentheses ( ) to group your related terms together, otherwise the search often won't work: 

 (Asia OR Europe OR “North America”)

 You can then combine OR searches together using the operator AND

“Construction industry” AND (Asia OR Europe OR “North America”) AND
(issues OR trends OR “market size” OR report) 

To see how these searches can be used to find material in the library, refer to the Search for Information page (linked in the menu on the right of screen).